New Coug wideouts might be on different paths

IN A WIDE-RANGING telephone interview Sunday after their Cougfan.com photo shoot at the Rose Bowl, heralded incoming Washington State receivers Gabriel Marks and Robert Lewis weighed in on how they've been preparing themselves for the world of Pac-12 football and where they see themselves fitting in at WSU this fall. For one of these future Cougs, enrollment may have to wait until January.

"I'm still waiting on the coaches because they told me I might grayshirt," said Lewis when asked about his timetable for arriving in Pullman.

The three-star prospect out of South Gate, Calif., said he tips the scales at a feathery 152 pounds. Delaying enrollment until January would allow him to bulk up without starting the clock on his eligibility.

However, the progress he's made in the weight room since last fall, when he checked in for the season at 140 (yes, 140), has given the WSU staff more to consider, Lewis said. "When they came out (to L.A. recently) they said I was looking good so there's a good chance they might still take me (in the fall)."

If he does grayshirt he'll be the second known member of WSU's newest class of recruits to do so. Offensive lineman B.J. Salmonson confirmed with CF.C last week that he'll be enrolling in January.

As a senior last fall at South East High, Lewis was named division, league and regional player of the year after racking up 3,095 all-purpose yards and 36 TDs. He gained 2,023 yards rushing, another 338 on 20 pass receptions, plus 461 on kickoff returns and 273 on punt returns. He also played defensive back, collecting 59 tackles and five interceptions.

His college future clearly looks to be at wideout.

WHILE LEWIS' STATUS REMAINS uncertain for now, Marks' itinerary is set. The highest-ranked recruit from WSU's 2012 class said he will arrive in Pullman later this month to get a jump-start on classes and voluntary workouts. He said he's spent the off season fine-tuning his route running while adding muscle to 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame.

"When you're a small dude you got to be really technically sound," he said.

And despite the deep corps of receivers on the WSU roster, Marks said doesn't envision a redshirt season in the offing.

"I'm definitely planning on playing this year."

With linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis now pursuing a professional career, Sekope Kaufusi no longer with the program, and classmate Lewis possibly grayshirting, Marks may be the one to pick up the mantle of Wildest Hair on the Team.

His throwback doo during his senior season at Venice High in Los Angeles garnered nearly as much attention as the 100 pass receptions and 23 TDs he accumulated over his junior and senior campaigns.

Just don't be surprised if Marks goes completely radical to earn a little extra recognition his first year on campus. "I'm planning on trying a little something different," said Marks, whose head was close-cropped on Sunday. "Growing it out and cutting it in a nice Mohawk -- making that real high and dying it. You can expect something though."

NOTABLE:
  • Another incoming Cougar receiver, Brett Bartolone of La Habra, also was at the Rose Bowl photo shoot on Sunday and is also coming to Pullman later this month. He's projected as a slot receiver. He said it's unclear at the moment whether he'll redshirt this season.

  • If you missed the 21-shot CF.C photo shoot at the Rose Bowl, you'll definitely want to click here.

    Left to right: Incoming Washington State wideouts Bartelone, Marks, Lewis and running back Theron "Too Fast" West.


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